I do comms and strategy. That is, I write and communicate, mostly on environmental campaigns and science issues, as well devising ways to help organisations achieve their ambitions. As people – friends, family, even clients – are often perplexed as to what this involves, I thought I’d have a go at actually communicating about what I do all day.
Doing comms does include traditional press officer tasks – like pushing “send” on media releases and haranguing overworked journalists. Getting a story published, however is only part of the job. Communications shouldn’t happen as an afterthought or in isolation, or for its own sake. It doesn’t matter how many centillions of people Like, Retweet or even read (heaven forbid) what I’ve just catapulted out into the ether, if this frenzy of attention cannot be converted into some kind of real world action.
We spent from 5.30am on Sunday morning at the local library, or biblioteca, less than 100m from my home in Sant Cugat del Vallès, a town of 87,000 just over the hill from Barcelona. My partner and her father are from the French part of Catalonia, or Catalunya Nord, as it’s known. None of us could vote in the independence referendum, but after the authoritarian behaviour of the Spanish authorities in recent weeks, we wanted to help protect the voting centres.
About a month ago, Deutsche Welle journalist Irene Quaile AKA Iceblogger wrote, in a piece titled Some Arctic good news – not #fakenews!
“With the environment and climate under constant fire from the actions of President Trump, it is great to end the week with a little piece of good news”.
What a year – moving countries, working for Antarctic and Arctic protection and joining the quest to halt international trade deals in between.
We’re all here, nose to tail, thanks to the “border controls” that the French government, brought into force following the Paris November 13th attacks. In a previous article, I documented my recent slow crossing from Belgium into France. That crossing was rip-roaringly rapid in comparison to today’s torpid crawl. This is the real deal, with three 120 kilometre-an-hour lanes slowed to nothing, then funneled into one. It’s a farce.